JOURNAL ARTICLE

Optimization of surgical clip placement for breast-conservation therapy

Aneesh Pirlamarla, Adam Ferro, Ning J Yue, Bruce G Haffty, Sharad Goyal
Practical Radiation Oncology 2014, 4 (3): 153-159
24766681

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if seroma cavity visualization could be further improved with placement of gold fiducial markers in each anatomic wall of the seroma cavity compared with placement of surgical titanium clips at the surgeon's discretion.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: We identified patients with breast cancer who received breast-conservation surgery. Patients were grouped into 3 categories: patients without clips, patients with titanium clips placed at the discretion of the treating surgeon, and patients with gold fiducial markers directly sutured to each wall of the seroma cavity. Cavity visualization was determined using the cavity visualization score criteria.

RESULTS: A total of 262 patients met the criteria for the study; 119 patients did not have surgical clips placed during breast-conservation surgery, 109 patients received surgical titanium clip placement at the surgeon's discretion, and 34 patients received directed placement of gold fiducial markers in each anatomic wall of the seroma cavity. There was improvement in the visualization of the seroma cavity in patients who received directed gold fiducial marker placement in each wall of the seroma cavity compared with titanium clip placement at the surgeon's discretion (P < .05). An association was not identified between the quantity of titanium clips used, the amount of seroma walls with titanium clips present, or the time interval between surgery and radiation therapy planning with cavity visualization when surgical titanium clips were placed at the surgeon's discretion.

CONCLUSIONS: The placement of a gold fiducial marker in each of the seroma cavity walls improved visualization of the seroma cavity compared with the placement of titanium clips at the surgeon's discretion. This technique may be utilized in order to assist in planning a seroma boost following whole breast irradiation or in accelerated partial breast irradiation.

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